New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on the telecom companies’ plea against the Delhi High Court order making it mandatory for cellular operators to compensate for call drops.
The Delhi High Court had earlier this year upheld October 16, 2015 decision of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), making it mandatory for cellular operators to pay consumers one rupee per call drop experienced on their networks, subject to a cap of Rs 3 a day.
The TRAI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the telecom companies should have enforced call drop regulation before challenging it in the court.
During the hearing of the call drop compensation matter, the TRAI said, “Telecom companies are only interested in filling its coffers. They are responsible for majority of call drops.”
Arguing for the regulatory body before the apex court, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had earlier on Thursday said there is a cartel of four-five players in a country of a billion, which earn huge revenues and couldn’t be bothered about consumer satisfaction.
He had also said the companies were earning up to 61 percent profit but only investing five percent in infrastructure and were only interested in signing up more subscribers without fixing call drops.
Refuting to his accusations, the telephone service providers said that the authorities should not use such harsh language at any forum.
Calling the remarks “misplaced, baseless and rather misleading”, the telecom companies in a statement on Friday said they are ‘surprised and are deeply dismayed’ by the fierce attack on them by the regulator while arguing against a petition filed by carriers against a Delhi High Court ruling upholding TRAI penalties on call drops.